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Fairgrounds Prep for Opening Day

61 rides, 125 food booths, and lots of live entertainment are slated for the Georgia National Fair, which opens its doors Thursday afternoon.

It's the 21st year for the fair, but the fairgrounds says there's plenty of new attractions and some old favorites to keep everyone busy.

Workers put finishing touches on the rides and booths Wednesday.

Richard Reithoffer has run the fair rides for more than 20 years. He says his family-run business does shows all along the East coast from Florida to Canada, but he looks forward to coming to Perry.

"We think it is the finest facility, the finest fairground in all of the United States," says Reithoffer.

He says this year, Reithoffer Rides is bringing back some "super-spectacular" ones that haven't been in Perry for years, along with some brand-new ones.

"We brought back the Flip 'N Out," Reithoffer says. "That hasn't been here in quite a number of years."

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Gov. Perdue Cuts Ribbon at "Go Fish" in Perry

State and local leaders met in Perry to dedicate Georgia's newest fishing initiative.

Governor Sonny Perdue cut the ribbon at the Go Fish Education Center on the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter Thursday afternoon.

4th and 5th-graders from Tucker Elementary School and community leaders took a stroll through the center, which is designed to teach people about the state's fishing opportunities and water conservation.

The center will also serve as the state's largest indoor hatchery for the Dept. of Natural Resources.

The project has taken three years and roughly $20 million to complete. According to Lauren Curry with the Dept. of Natural Resources, $14 million came from state funds. The city of Perry and Houston County donated about $1 million.

The rest of the money came from private companies. Georgia Power was the largest donor, giving $1 million for the center.

New Haunted House Opens in Perry

It's getting closer to Halloween, and if you're up for a fright, a new place in Perry may be right up your alley.

The Fear Factory opened Thursday night. Owner Bryan Davee isn't new to the haunted house game, and he'll be the first to tell you, it can be pretty freaky.

Davee says he and friend Rodney Grim put their blood, sweat, and tears into the project, all for that much-prized reaction he's seen with other houses they've volunteered with.

"We had some 6-foot-4 football players that about tore down a couple of our walls running," says Davee.

But for all its smoke and mirrors, Davee says, at its core, this haunted house is a charity project.

Folks Flock to Perry For Opening of Georgia National Fair

People in Perry and all around Central Georgia kicked off the first day of the eleven-day Georgia National Fair Thursday afternoon.

Gates opened at 3 p.m., and folks packed in the food and fun until 10 p.m.

But there's more to the fair than just rides and food.

There's also an Agricenter, and over the course of the fair, more than 2,300 children and teens will come to show off their livestock.

12-year-old Lexie Dodgins of Toccoa, Georgia spends a lot of time with goats. "You have to walk 'em a lot and set up their feet," she says.

Lexie says sometimes they act ornery when they're getting ready for a show, but normally they're pretty peaceful. "My step-sister's goat acts like a doggy, because it sits on its hind legs and goes all around."

She says show judges look for muscling, or meat.

But 15-year-old Dillon Parker says it's about showmanship.

"It's all about me," he says.  "The way I present the calf to the judge."

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Houston Roads Open, Drivers Should Use Caution

Houston County EMA says the following roads are are now open, after they were closed Sunday night because of high water levels.

  • Feagin Mill Road at Turtle Creek
  • Butten Drive at Chilton Place
  • Highway 41 at Sandefur Road
  • Peacock Drive between Corder Road and Watson Blvd.
  • First Street and Watson Blvd.
  • Lake Joy Road and Sandefur Road

The EMA warns drivers should still be careful in these areas and watch for standing water on the roadway.

Houston Superintendent Says Kohl's Dispute Settled

Houston County's school superintendent says a dispute over a visit by a special-needs school group to a local Kohl's store was just miscommunication.

A Bonaire Middle School teacher last week sent out an email to parents, co-workers and others saying the special-needs students were "devastated and humiliated" when a manager turned them away from the Kohl's on Watson Boulevard last Thursday.

The teacher wrote that the group, with several students and three adults, often drops into the store as a learning exercise.

But the manager told the group that store employees were doing inventory that day and were too busy to help the group. Several parents contacted 13WMAZ about the incident.

On Monday, Houston County superintendent Robin Hines called it a "lapse in communication."

"They were sorry about it, and we were sorry about it."

Perry's 'Go Fish' Scheduled to Open Next Week

The state's latest fishing initiative is set to open next week at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter after nearly three years of planning and construction.

The Go Fish project is designed to teach people about conservation and Georgia's fishing opportunities.

13WMAZ got a look inside the center, which will open in time for next week's Georgia National Fair.

Ted Will with the Department of Natural Resources says a tour through Go Fish is like a tour through the state. Outside the building, a walking trail showcases Georgia's aquatic habitats, starting with the mountains, and ending with the swamps.